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Friday, January 29, 2010

On her sadness

Right from the day of her first cry,
Not a single drop of happiness did she drink
Life flew away like a feather so dry,
Sadness and agony made her heart sink.

Ruptured was the seed of her destiny
A family no one would expect in dreams
Orthodoxy and superstitions ruined everything
And killed the joy by many other means;

Sympathised was she by the whole world
But there was reluctance in giving her a helping hand
The current of life just passed through
Leaving her life in Eliot’s Waste Land…

Tears roll down as she lies on her death bed
Due to the perilous “Cancer”
Last stage it is that she reaches today
Nothing can now save her…

Her cloud did not have a silver lining
It was a dull, dark ball of misfortune
The sufferings she endured are irrevocable
The background being – a melancholy tune…

On a withered flower did the poor butterfly land
No one to console, everyone showering mercy,
No one can predict tomorrow,
For the verdict lies with the great HE…

As I pass her cursed house
My heart grieves to see the wilted flower
The lovely girl with a colorless life
Over who the dangerous predators hover…

I pray for a soothing life
Holy Lord – please don’t test her anymore,
Make her a path of fragrant flowers
From earth to the heaven door…

A Journey from the Womb

He is in my impulsive blood,
Since the time I was conceived.
He preached love for months nine,
In a womb serene as heaven
So is ‘Life’ a voyage from heaven to heaven?
Or is its beauty the kingdom of the sky?

I could feel the world I was unborn to,
But yet, with that welcome came a morbid fear…
People asked her how I was, softly feeling her womb,
Her blush metamorphosing into angelic butterflies
The tense ones, the curious ones…
Waiting for this phase to pass by
So that she could at once, see me…

Deep inside it was dark and secure
The internal turmoil however was unavoidable…
This fair lady spoilt me since then
And still cannot stop pampering me…

I never knew I needed her
But she always needed me
To help me grow into a strong woman,
To encourage me for whatever I would embark on.
There’s spirituality divine in her lucid touch,
Her innocent kiss, her emotional hug,
Her tinkling laughter and also
In her softly ticking heart
I am blessed by ‘His’ presence
My Lord—God disguised as My Mother…

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Random Thoughts

I am now 22 and still enticed by the numerous mirages that life flashes day after day. Nothing seems to be working out fine right now and whoever I meet only gives me an acrid dose of “maturity”. I don’t really know what that means. For my mother, it means not blowing a bubble gum in the presence of the family members, dressing up in an awfully archaic manner, tying the hair into a bun (apparently leaving one’s hair open is socially incorrect, I have no idea where that comes from though!), coming home before nine because she needs to deliver her daily speech of criticism at least an hour before she falls asleep, I sometimes wonder that my mother will make a good business (Mum energies all around the country can be channelized for a better cause) by recording her monologues (monologues because I’m not allowed to speak so I just act dumb – she has a problem with that as well at times). Coming back to the topic, maturity for her also means reciting prayers on time (atheism is not an option here), because I don’t pray, God does not love me and thus I am aimless and directionless. But technically, I don’t regret being a wasted child – if God did not love me, he would have inflicted misery on me – but that’s not the case either! Maturity inculcates tedious phrases like “understanding things”. For some reason, I never seem to “understand things” – now I don’t so please make me understand. That might be a risk though – people then end up analyzing my life and the problems associated with it and then I start seeing things which were never an issue. Not eating on time – Dude! Half of the teenagers in this world survive on crap like Maggi, Lays, Frooti (Please note: Matured people are not supposed to sip it and make funny noises towards the end!), chicken rolls and French fries – what are you talking about? Singing on the road, calling out people randomly from the cab, playing football with an empty mineral water bottle or marbles in the middle of the street with boys who wipe their running noses to their soiled Tees, are other symptoms of immaturity.
I guess I’m happy I can still be one of those characters straight out of Disney books; you can at least enjoy life that ways. Work is always going to be there but sometimes, it is alright to call up your boss to say you are sick and instead, go for a walk on the beach, surprise your wife or your girlfriend by keeping the house neat and tidy when she is back, let your kids win in a badminton or a chess game or plan a quick weekend getaway! I think that is what life is all about. So peoples! Remember you don’t have to act mature all the time…let yourself loose and do a Mithun da dance sometimes or go pick a flower for your wife from a nearby garden! Trust me, you will love yourself for that...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Elusive Figments

Before the dusk advances the gloomy night
Your thoughts touch me like the calming breeze
What made me hurt you so much?
How could I get over you with such ease?

Every time you look so stern
I wanna fall for you again
And tell you that I miss you
And be with you through sunshine and rain...

Please don't hate me
Please don't go away without a smile
For I can see you only in my dreams
Only to disappear after a while...

The icy fang of winter bites into me
And the lazy sun's up in the sky
The spring doesn't cheer me enough
I wanna hug my pillow and cry...

Will this cold war ever end?
Will you wrap me in your strong arm?
I promise never to leave your side
And bring back that romantic charm...

Dices of destiny


“It all happened too soon”, she thought, as fresh warm beads of water stroked her undefiled body from all sides. Tears rolled down her lush cheeks as her eyelashes embraced each other. She hastily wrapped herself in the towel and crunched her soft curls as they rolled onto her bare shoulders. It had been almost a year that Natasha had been married to the son of the city’s most famous jeweler, Malhotra & Sons. This wasn’t really a decision she had made on her own. She also did not expect life to metamorphose the way it did later on.

As she gently rubbed her delicate feet to the mat outside her bathroom, she felt a firm hand grip her waist. “I’ve taken enough of your tantrums baby…now it is time I do something about it…” He said as he gently brushed aside the dripping locks from her right shoulder and began kissing her neck. She felt powerless. This was his way of showing her that she belonged to him. Natasha felt a chill run up her spine as he licked her neck upwards to reach to her moist lips. “Please Rihaan…don’t do this…I need some m-m-ore t-time…” He words came out muffled as his lips completely engulfed hers. He threw her on the bed, pinning her firmly against the soft mattress as his fingers probed at the point where she tucked the end of the towel. He felt a sudden rush of exhilaration, his morbid lust, his boorish way of exercising control over the woman who could not be his, made him so much excited and determined.

Natasha would not surrender so easily though. She sunk her teeth into his arm, biting the flesh as hard as she could manage. He yelled in pain, slapping her face. “Be good to me sweetheart…I’m your husband…it is only me…I'm going to have you tonight no matter what. You either concede or I'm going to have to force it on you…” he said finally yanking off her towel, exposing her sprouting breasts. Natasha lay, naked and vulnerable under his strong hold. “Rihaan…you are hurting me…” she cried as he bit her nipples till they were red. His breath wasn’t erotic or sensual. It was sadistic and sly. He ripped off his shirt grinning as he flung it to one side. Rihaan began running his finger all over her body, gently, in an attempt to calm her down but she kicked and pushed with all her strength in an attempt to escape his hold. He grinned at her attempts to free herself. This was something he was beginning to enjoy as he finally realized that he was going to consummate his marriage even if it meant by force.

As his fingers inched their way lower, he thought his pant would tear with his increasing excitement. He had finally managed to have her steaming body after years of fantasy. Without wasting any more time, he unzipped his jeans gaping at her face damp with her silent sobs. She had finally surrendered. He couldn’t wait to explore her any longer. He adjusted his body above hers, readying himself to finally have his way.

Unable to bear the irrevocable torment, Natasha screamed helplessly as he propelled himself to her core. “Baby…do you have any idea how much I love you for this…” he whispered as his movements intensified. Droplets of blood trickled down her waxed thighs as he rolled off her body breathlessly.


It was her first day at work and Natasha couldn’t control her excitement. She had finally managed to get herself a high-profile job in a multi-national company while most of her other friends struggled to make money by working in petty call centers in the suburbs.

“Sweetie are you done? It’s a job! Not a fashion pageant! I’m getting late…please hurry up!” he shouted from the hallway impatiently looking at his watch.

She blushed as she glanced at herself in the mirror twirling her curls. Her mattress was cluttered with wrinkled shirts, colorful bras, unwashed jeans and t-shirts. She loved the way he woke her up every morning. Earlier, it was to go to college and now to get in time for work. He reached fifteen minutes early to her place only to help her wash the coffee-stained mugs from the previous night, clean the soiled plates, put her veg. toast sandwich without tomatoes but with a thin layer of mayonnaise exactly for forty-five seconds in the microwave, make her bed, put the soft toys scattered around the house in place and persuade her that she was looking great even if her hair was all messed up and that the passion pimple on her right cheek wasn’t so prominent. This had been his daily routine for the past two years. There wasn’t a single day they hadn’t seen each other. For normal people, it is morning when the sun brightens up the sky but for these two love birds, morning happened only when they saw each other, fought about trivial issues and then kissed to make up.

Twenty long minutes after trying the entire wardrobe, Natasha was finally convinced that she was looking perfect for the day. She slipped her pedicured feet carefully into the shiny black heels that she had recently purchased. “I’m ready Adi!!!” she exclaimed as she opened the bedroom door and stroke a pose leaning against the wall. Aditya’s reaction was not even close to what she had expected.

“Thank you for doing me a favor by getting dressed so quickly. You know what is the problem with you Tash? You only think about yourself all the time. You hardly seem to have any appreciation for what I have been doing for you all this while… It is already nine forty-five and I don’t know how on earth I’m going to make for my meeting at ten, leave alone preparing for it! Grow up Tash! You are twenty-two now and I have to treat you like a school-going kid all the time!” he said as he stormed out of the door fuming with rage. This was not the sort of fight they had everyday. They were always arguing about why some top exposed her cleavage a bit too much or why there were tomatoes in her sandwich. These arguments were however sorted out instantly. Aditya had to discard half his shirts as a result of their fights when Natasha hugged him tight smudging his shirt with her glittery gloss. He never really minded that. She was his princess.

Natasha was still wondering if this was a dream or if it had actually happened. Not that she wasn’t an understanding girlfriend, but she was under the impression that Aditya loved pampering her. She never had to demand things because she already had them all. Never did she nag him to come home early to meet her like her other girlfriends did or to get Bourneville of the flavor she felt like eating on a particular day because the minute she expressed her desire to eat chocolates, Adi got her a basketful of them filled with all the flavors available in the market. She shuddered as Adi drove away with a loud screech while taking a reverse.

It was her first day of her first job and this was the last thing she was expecting would happen. She locked herself in the bedroom and flung all her clothes off the bed. Tears streamed down her eyes and they planted a soft kiss on the mattress as it absorbed them. She heard someone knock the door. She was sure it wouldn’t be Adi. He would never come back. Wiping her red hot face, she rushed to open the door. There was no one to be seen. Just about as she was closing the door she saw a bunch of purple orchids carefully wrapped with a satin ribbon. There was a card attached to it that said,

“I know I couldn’t be there, but I’m still there.
There are times when things are tough and life seems bitter…
But I want you to wash your face and put on your glitter
It is your first step and don’t miss it because of a stupid fight…
Coz you are my angel and everything will be alright….”

This was the second shock for Natasha on the same day and she couldn’t believe that life could be so unpredictable. The poem was definitely not written by Adi, he could hardly express his feelings through words forget composing poems! The flowers and the card however diverted her attention from what had happened in the morning. It was now 11 am. She was late by an hour on the first day. She dashed to the washroom, washed her face, twisted her hair, clipped them into a French roll and ran out of the house to fetch for a cab.


Natasha was young, vibrant and talented. Being born and brought up in Jammu, she flaunted a skin as smooth as vanilla and almond-shaped eyes that had the hue of honey. The two locks which fell on either sides of her face symbiotically enhanced her beauty. She was contemporary, but at the same time she had strong morals. She came to Mumbai to complete her post graduation at the Xavier Institute at Communications. She got to know Adi, an artist and an interior designer when she had to interview him for a feature. He was one good and trust-worthy friend she managed to in the maddening city. He was the reason why the city seemed so different for her. They spent every evening exploring all the new restaurants, cafés, ice-cream parlors, fast-food joints and latest exhibitions. More than a partner, Natasha sought a father in him. Unlike other lovers who desperately craved for a physical interaction between themselves, Natasha and Aditya found solace in the intellectual and emotional conversations that they had and that was the probable reason why both of them lived separately in spite of being all alone in the city.

Even though the age difference between them was almost six years, Aditya made sure that she wasn’t uncomfortable when they went out. While she whirled around singing and splashing in the rain on the Marine Drive, he sat back and watched her with an irresistible smile thinking about how her presence had lit his life up like not just one but a constellation of stars. Sometimes, when everything was beyond perfection, his heart thumped at the thought of losing her someday. She was too immature to realize the depth of their relationship. For her, it was only about childish “I love you”, “I miss you” and “You mean the world to me” messages. Sometimes he pondered for hours about whether she even understood a word about what she was writing or whether she was only brushing up Shakespeare and Robert Frost that she studied back in college. He however never disclosed his inner sentiments to her. He was a giver, a selfless lover.


Natasha’s day started off sour even before she reached office when she banged into someone while getting into the lift and got her new shirt dyed with caffeine.
“Are you blind? Where the hell were you looking?” she screamed at him, frustrated and tensed.
“Ex-excuse me Mam! I’ll-I’ll just bring you some tissues…Give me a moment…” he pleased, unable to figure out what else to say.
“It’s fine! I’ll manage! It’s…It’s just my first day at work…and I don’t know how I’m supposed to get back everything into order…” she said overwhelmingly.
He would have died before he hurt her. She was beautiful even when she cried, when she rubbed her nose with her fingers. He stared at her, bewildered, as she got into the lift. He wondered if she had read his card in the morning.
Following this incident, she had to undergo a two hour lecture by her boss about the company morals, dress-code and punctuality. She now envied her friends who went to work without having bath every day, wore the same t-shirt for days together and still managed to impress their respective bosses.
Natasha spent the rest of the day in getting the hang of her work and checking her phone every now and then to check if she had received any missed calls or messages from Adi.


“I can’t do this. I love her…” Aditya begged as small beads of sweat sprouted from his pale forehead.
He skipped a beat when his phone vibrated on the coffee table. Just as he was about to open the message, the figure sitting opposite to him snatched his phone. “Wer d hell hv u been? Cant u evn cal o msg 2 knw hw m day hs been so far? Am sowie. Plz cal bk Adi. Missin u so much!” he read the message loudly.
“Sooo…your sweetheart’s ready missing you a lot…I give you two weeks Aditya…get the money…or get her…” he said, lighting a cigarette in between his sooty lips.
“I –I will take care of everything…please don’t trouble Tashu in any way…please-please I beg of you” gripped with just the thought of losing his beloved, Aditya could hardly utter a word beyond that.
“Two weeks…that’s all you have…your time starts now…” The figure stood up and walked away jetting rings of smoke out of his mouth.
Aditya cupped his face with his palms. That was the first time he realized how much he loved her, in spite of all the fights and arguments that they had been having.
He felt a warm hand touch his shoulder.
“Adi…Adi…What happened? What’s wrong? Why didn’t you reply to my message?”
It was Natasha. He had been avoiding her since morning and he did not know what to tell her. Thankfully, she did not ask him any more questions. She held him close to her breast and moved her fingers through his soft hair. “Baby…everything’s gonna be alright…” she said. This wasn’t his Tashu, the one who threw tantrums over petty issues, the one who kept calling him in spite of knowing that he was busy, the one who craved for a Dutch truffle in the middle of the night. For a moment he thought she already knew everything.
“Let’s go to my place for a while Adi…I’ll make some hot chocolate for you…you’ll feel better.” she said, holding his hand tightly. Aditya walked out of the café like a small kid who was dragged by his mother to go to school.
“Now, tell me, what has been bothering you Adi…You were never like this before…there is something terribly wrong and if you are hiding it from me because you think I’m immature, please don’t Adi…you know we have each other and we will work it out…whatever it is…”she said, handing him a cup of steaming chocolate.
“You never told me someone sent you flowers this morning…even you have started hiding stuff from me…” he said glancing at the purple orchids lying on the dining table.
“Did we even talk to each other for the whole day Aditya? When am I gonna get time to tell you about it? And anyways, I don’t know who sent it! The sender did not write his name on the card…I was in a hurry and had almost forgotten about it till you reminded me about it just now…” she said apologetically.
“Ohh…so there was a card too…” he said sarcastically. He hated her even exchanging messages with other boys of her age. He was obsessed with her.
“For Heaven’s sake Adi! Just shuttt uppp!! You are getting possessive for no reason! Why are you blaming me for everything? I haven’t done anything wrong! I don’t even know who sent me the card and I really don’t care coz I love you and I’m not bothered about anyone else!” she screamed at him.
“Tashu but I’m bothered! Because you’re not just my girlfriend, you’re my responsibility!” he screamed back at her. He was just hoping the sender wasn’t “him”.
“Adi…I know that honey…but I didn’t mean to hide this from you…just that I didn’t get the time to tell you and I didn’t really think it was that important.” she hugged him with tears in her eyes.
“Please don’t cry love…I’m just scared…I’m scared to lose you…to be without you…I wanna make you happy all the time…I love you so much…” he said playing with her soft curls as she snugged into his arms as she feel asleep.


“Adi…Adi…” Natasha woke up the next morning feeling the other side of the mattress without opening her eyes. She couldn’t feel him by her side. “He must have probably gone to the washroom.” She thought desperately wanting to catch up on some more sleep. Aditya would never leave her house without telling her or kissing her on her forehead so as to not wake her up from her sugary slumber. She only woke up, frightened when she got a call on her landline.
“He-hello” she answered.
“Tashu! It’s me! Simran! I’m back in Mumbai! Are you free this evening? Let’s catch up!”
“Oh- Oh Sim, Thank God it’s you. Sorry I just woke up. Gotta rush to work. But why didn’t you call up on my cell phone?”
“Sweets! That’s coz I couldn’t get through it. I guess you forgot to charge it! Anyways I want to introduce you to someone really special. I’m in love Tashu! Can you believe it! Anyways I’m gonna keep you guessing for now. I shall catch you in the evening. By the way how’s Adi? Ask him to join us too…”
“Who??? Anyways I don’t have time for your love stories right now. You keep falling in and out of love every alternate day! I shall give you a buzz from my office when I leave and then we can plan out something…”
“That sounds cool!”
Simran was Natasha’s best friend and room mate while they were in XIC. There wasn’t a single assignment or project which they did not do together. She was happy that Simran was finally back. She went back to wondering where Adi had disappeared. She called him up on his cell phone his cell phone. “Tashu…I’m sorry I left without informing you…please don’t be mad at me…I needed to rush for my meeting…” he apologized immediately.
“Adi…I haven’t even asked you anything. Why are you sounding like you have committed a crime…just that you could have at least informed me while leaving. Why have you suddenly started having these early morning meetings? Till sometime back, your day never began before noon. Adi, are you hiding something from me?” she couldn’t control her growing suspicion.
“Tashu…it’s nothing like you are thinking baby…It is just that I’m suddenly loaded with work…Earlier I was only working on one interior. This month, I’ve got four interiors to do…Isn’t that great!” he hated lying to her. But there was nothing he could possibly do. He couldn’t imagine the day she would know the truth. More than the fact that she would never want to see him again, he hated himself for hurting her. Tashu was still his small kid. She trusted him more than herself. She depended on him for all the decisions she had had to make till date, right from the outfit that would her best to which job she should be taking up. Natasha was also a brilliant writer. Even if he himself was not good at writing, he gladly read her articles and encouraged her to write more.
As he walked down the lane towards the German Bakery, he heard someone call him “Adi...here!” he turned back to see Simran waving at him from around the corner.
“Boy! You seem miserable! What happened? Isn’t my girlfriend treating you properly? I had buzzed her in the morning. She seemed a little down too…did you guys have a fight or something?” she said grasping her breath.
“Hi-Hi-Simran! You’re back in Mumbai! That’s great! How many days will you be around? I’m in a hurry right now so we can probably catch up in the evening or something!” he said heaving a sigh of relief. Tashu wouldn’t be staying alone now for a while at least.
“It’s not just you…Even I’m in a hurry…I’m meeting the love of my life right now!”
“Sim!! Not agaaaaiiiiinnnn!!” he said, amused. This was the twenty-fifth time Simran was falling in love.
“Who’s the unfortunate victim?” he added.
“Adi…I’m serious…He is gonna get lucky very soon…” she laughed “You coordinate with Tashu and I shall see you guys in the evening. Hold on till I unveil the surprise!” she said as she skipped along the lane.

In Search of Solace

I sat by the French window of my 22nd floor apartment. I could hear the faint sound of waves hitting against the rocks on the shore of the bandstand. I did this every morning when I got back from work. The strange relationship the waves shared with the rocks fascinated me. Sometimes, the waves kissed the rocks softly, sometimes, they cuddled, but most of the times, whipped them hard, eroding their surfaces. It was indeed a reflection of my life.
It was hard for me to accept that this was my last evening in Mumbai. I always associated ‘dusk’ with pessimism and loneliness. In reality, that was the time, my day began. I felt the warm rays of the setting sun on my face. Some of them made their way through a small opening, dimly lighting my drawing room. The room looked so organized and clean. Not like the room that I had lived in for the last three years, littered with packets of cigarettes, ash trays, empty bottles of Smirnoff and colorful lingerie scattered all over the place.
Tonight, I was going to have a peaceful sleep in “my house”. I wasn’t holding a Marlboro Lights between my fingers. It was a cup of hot coffee this time. I was going to miss him. Not just miss him, but miss him terribly. Two huge drops of tears filled my eyes and rolled down my cheeks as I batted my lashes. I vaguely picked up my diary and counted the drops on its surface that had made a feeble attempt to smudge my name. I was in no mood to interpret its symbolism. I lifted a pen and rewrote my name, remembering the first time I met him at Marine Drive.
It was a chilling December night when I was desperately trying to find a cab. I was wearing a cobalt blue one piece with matching velvet sandals. I finally saw a cab and dashed into the backseat. He raced from across the road and got into the cab from the other door. I was angered by his act and reacted by shooting swearwords at him.
“I’m sorry Ma’am; I wasn’t able to find a single cab for the past half an hour. It is already 1, so I don’t know how long it will take to find another one. I’m going to Andheri. I would be glad to drop you to your destination first and then go home.” he said breathlessly.
I was mesmerized by his politeness. He certainly belonged to some rare species. In today’s world, who had the time to be “civilized”? It was my fault. I always judged the world from my perspective. He looked into my eyes. It seemed like he had just seen an angel. Yes, I was beautiful. I had a creamy skin, light eyes, brown silky hair which O’Henry would accurately compare to a “cascade of brown waters” and a body straight out of one of Botticelli’s paintings. I loved to ornament this figure with accessories bought from all parts of the world.
“Thanks a lot”, I said, parting my lips just a little. I had smoked a cigarette and for some unknown reason, I did not want him to know that. I quickly popped a mint into my mouth.
“Do you work here?” he asked making himself comfortable in the backseat.
I did not know what to say. I wasn’t really prepared for this question.
“I am an Event Manager!” I exclaimed. Although I was pleased with myself for conjuring up the career, I later felt a little embarrassed. The “Event Manager” bit had sounded too loud.
“Our company organizes functions at the BCCI, Taj, Oberoi and many other five star hotels. Most of the times it is past midnight as the parties last for a long time.” I said.

“That’s a good profession. There is a lot of scope for creativity. Better than software professionals at least! I belong to that breed. ..Sit before that computer day after day till your eyes pop out!”
“Heh! Technology can do that to you.” I said, amused by our directionless conversation.
“Oh! By the way, do you realize? We have been talking endlessly for the last half an hour and we don’t know each other’s names!” he said.
“Oh yaa…I’m Kamini” I said starting to enjoy the conversation a bit.
“And I’m Anish…” he said with a broad smile.
We exchanged our mobile numbers and E-mail IDs before I reached Bandra. He dropped me right up to my doorstep. There was something magnetic about his personality. I had never felt so secure with a man. The chat refreshed and soothed me. He was someone who I knew was attracted to me, but with a good intention. He did not size me up and down and make me feel disgusted about myself.
I couldn’t sleep much that night. Random thoughts were speeding across my mind like cars on a highway. Yes, I had been to Taj, Oberoi and other five star hotels. But…not to organize an event…It was because I was called…I had to be there in the room at a given time-mostly during the night. At times, there was one man, at times two, at times even five- then there would be other girls like me in the room and they all had their turns on us. I had to behave like I was told, get their drinks in place, have a shower with them and then wait patiently in bed for things to follow up. I had done it so many times, that it had now become a part of my routine. The next morning, I would wake up to find myself alone in the room with the cash left for me at the dressing table.
However, after three years of being in the profession, I had gradually gotten the liberty to choose my clients. There was Mr.Mehta, a rich businessman who had divorced his wife a year earlier for not being able to conceive. Excessive drinking, smoking and the resulting depression had made him put on weight. Mr. Chawla was the marketing head of a chain of restaurants in town. He always came across as a pompous, fun-loving man and referred to me as a “Commercial Sex Worker”. Mr. Trivedi was an old bachelor who paid me for my companionship. He was charming man with silky grey hair falling on his shiny forehead. A small dimple adorned his right cheek. He was one of the few people who bothered to know whether I had eaten and slept properly. A number of young boys were a part of my clientele. They all experienced common problems like failed relationships, unemployment and frustration.
Nothing really changed after I met Anish. My life was still the same except for our occasional talks on the phone and Google TM talks during nights when I was home. As our conversations increased, so did my guilt. I had spun a false identity for a boy who had started to love me and me him. On many occasions, I was on the verge of telling him the truth but something held me back. I wouldn’t have feared if it was someone else…but it was ‘Anish’…I was afraid he’d hate me if he discovered the truth. It then struck me that I had started liking him too. It wasn’t intense love initially. It was the feeling of finding the right person who understood me and with whom I could share my thoughts. It would be ironic to say, “Who knew me well”. I had never given him that chance.
We met again after two months. I was with one of my clients at Hilton towers. It was 7 am when someone knocked on the door of the room.
“Mr. Malhotra?” he whispered softly.
I got up and put on my night gown hastily. My bra was lying on the floor and my panty was lying on the other side of the dressing table. The room still smelled of Marlboro lights and Antiquity from the previous night. What happened after I opened the door was something that I have tried hard to forget but not been able to. He was terrified with what he had just seen. I thought he wanted to slap me hard but he clenched his fists and controlled himself as he glanced at Mr.Malhotra, his boss, who was still in bed, with the mink blanket just about covering the lower half of his body. I had betrayed Anish. I had cheated on a person who was so close to my heart. I knew he wasn’t my boyfriend and that we weren’t committed. However, somewhere down the line we both knew that there was an unspoken, unusual bond that we shared.
“Ann-Aniishhh…please let me explain…wait a minute…please…” I said as he walked away in rage.
“What do you want to explain now? Everything is over! I can’t believe you could….” He said flinging his hand I was trying to catch.
“Aniisshh…at least listen to me…” I said following him round the confusing corridors.
“Leave me alone Kamini…and don’t talk to me ever again…” he said as he banged the door of his room on my face.
This incident changed my life. I called him, messaged him, and mailed him, but in vain. He blocked me on G-talk too. I do not blame him for what happened. I was scared to tell him the truth because I would then lose him. But now, I had lost him. No amount of crying was going to help. Cigarettes and hard drinks had made me fragile and weak to an extent where I couldn’t even glance at myself in the mirror. My tears smudged the kohl under my eyes making it even worse. I looked like a tuberculosis victim.
I never thought that my strong personality would disintegrate so rapidly because of one man. There was nothing I could do to make things better. Anish had a strong influence on my life. It wasn’t that I couldn’t live without him, but I knew I needed him. There were times when I had longed to be in his arms and cry. I wanted to belong to him and only him…but it was too late for that.
That night I was called by a client at the Renaissance. I entered the room to find a boy sitting on the edge of the double bed. He seemed to be in his mid-twenties. At least his body language and his choice of clothes depicted that. He wore dark blue jeans with a cream tee tucked carelessly into it. His was hiding his face by cupping his palms. The room smelt of fresh roses. I entered slowly into the room so as not to break the silence.
I was in no mood to pursue my profession any further after what had happened. However, it would take a while to find another job. It was around half an hour and the boy did not show any signs of getting close to me. In a way I was relieved. My guilt was anyways killing me. After about five minutes, he came and sat next to me.
“How much do you charge for a night?” he asked. His face was red from crying. Only a break up or a death in the family can do that to a person.
“Uhh—Eight Thousand” I said, with an expression of discomfort.
“I want to spend the night with you. I won’t touch you. I only need your company.” He said wiping his tears away.
I did not know how to respond. I had never come across a client who cried so intensely. I consoled him by giving him a glass of cold water.
“What’s wrong?” I asked patting his shoulder, adding-
“You can tell me if you want to…”
“God is unfair…I loved her more than my life…for five years we were together… five years… do you know what that means…and then ‘HE’…that f**king ***hole to whom people pray, worship and dedicate flowers and sweets killed her in a train accident last week. Our dreams are shattered to pieces…and as I helplessly try to pick up these pieces and put them together, I cut myself…I hurt myself…I cry, scream…but destiny shows no mercy…” he said wiping his nose to a soiled napkin.
His name was Rishi. Our life stories weren’t similar, but I could connect to his feelings. I had lost my partner too. We talked to each other almost for the entire night. He felt better listening to my story. We sometimes like to see other people suffer when we ourselves are going through a rough phase in life. I think it was a little bit of that for both of us. Just speaking to him made me change many of the pre-conceived notions that I had about myself. I realized my real worth, my true potential. I was now confident that I could do much more in life than just being a “Call-girl”. I wasn’t meant to be just that. I did not charge Rishi for that night. Not because he did not touch me…because he had unconsciously and unknowingly shown me a brighter path in life.
I applied for the post of a fitness trainer in a nearby gym. I had pursued a one year course in Fitness and Yoga after my graduation. My greed to earn quick money and wear expensive clothing and chic accessories had landed me into this profession. I earned 8,000 a month- what I charged for a single night earlier.
The subsequent sudden but positive changes in my life made me feel proud. I quit smoking and the cocktails were replaced by mock tails. I regained my lost weight through a healthy diet. It felt good to take a glance in the mirror now. My skin was glowing and my hair had regained its lost silkiness.
After about three months, as I was standing in the queue to buy a ticket at Bandra, I heard a familiar voice- a voice that was strange, a voice that I was on the verge of forgetting. I turned around to see ‘Anish’. It was the second awkward meeting in a row. We did not speak for five minutes. I could actually sense the tension and decided to break the ice.
“Hi Anish. It’s been quite long…” I realized the lead was stupid. I shouldn’t have spoken in the first place.
“Hi...” he said in a reluctant manner. There was something holding him back. He had the same look in his eyes that he had six months earlier when we met for the first time. I knew he was charmed by my appearance. I seemed healthier and all the more gorgeous this time.
“I want to apologize for what happened, Anish. I did not want to hurt you in this manner. I realized a lot of things after we stopped talking to each other…” I could not speak anymore. One, because of the stinking platform and then, because I thought he knew what I wanted to say.
“Can we please go and sit somewhere if you have time?” I asked, hoping he would say ‘Yes’.
“I think…we should…” he said hesitantly.
We went to a nearby coffee outlet. It had been six months, and I wanted to pour my heart out to him, hug him and tell him how much I had missed him. I told him what had happened in the three months after. He listened to everything I had to say without uttering a word.
“Don’t you want to say anything?” I asked, unable to handle the suspense he had built by keeping quiet.
“Kamini…I just want to tell you that I did love you. But… I don’t know if I still love you…You…or the false identity that you had created for me…I missed you too…but the feeling of being deceived still haunts me. Had I not come into Mr.Malhotra’s room that morning, I would never have known the truth.”
I could sense that the matter was getting extremely difficult to resolve. I had hurt him and he would never in his life give me a second chance.
“I’m sorry Kamini…I tried getting over you but I’m still confused. Accepting whatever happened is not so easy…At least for me. I need some time…” he said. It felt like he wanted to run away.
“Ok...I’ll leave you alone. Take your own time-” I said, leaving the half-filled coffee on the table.
I walked out of the café without turning back.
“Some time…I really don’t know what he means by that…” I said to myself.
I came home. I hadn’t told Anish anything about my plan to go to Bangalore. I was going to open my own Yoga institute and that was quite an achievement for me. It was not so easy for me to forget him.
I opened my diary and wrote on the last page of what I had titled “An Unforgettable Companion”…

I met Anish for one last time today…At least that’s what I think. I don’t want to say that I am disturbed. Of course I am…I’m human too. But this meeting was essential. At least now, I know what he feels. I don’t blame him for his strange behavior. I don’t blame myself either…and that’s because I have reformed myself.
In the coming years, we may meet, we may not...but I will never forget that it was ‘Rishi’ who contributed the most towards bringing about this drastic change in my personality, profession and lifestyle. I’m flying to Bangalore tomorrow morning to pursue my goal with confidence and without regrets. I hope everything will work out fine.
I slept quite well that night. In the morning, I cleared my apartment. The cab was waiting for me downstairs. I loaded it with my belongings. I took a last look at the sea face…at my French window…I was leaving all this behind to embark on a new journey…to begin a new chapter on a fresh page…a chapter that would make my life more fulfilling and enriching…

Starry, starry night

On a starry, starry night
When the lazy moon nests in a cloud
With a tear on my cheek
I look out of the window and cry aloud.

“Hush hush my darling
You have wept all day
Rest your helpless eyes
While here comes a mesmerizing ray

A perfect world where hearts don’t break
Devoid of jealousy and bitter agony
Will you then hold my hand?
I promise you won’t be lonely

You can sleep in my arms all night
I promise I won’t get a call from work
And when you think things are not working out
I’ll kiss you passionately only to say “This will pass…”

When I’m by your side
I’ll cover you in your soft blanket
To assure you things will be alright
By holding you close in soothing velvet…”

But as I open my eyes the next morning
You are gone…and the tears roll down again
Only to realize the stars have faded away
Giving me back my anguish and pain…

I’m all alone this time
When the sun shines brightly in the blue sky
And I want to go back to sleep
To wander in lost memories and cry…

You might call it ‘escapism’ or ‘virtuality’
But it is the only thing I can hold on to…
When your dream world is in fragments
And there’s nothing left to say or do…